We are so grateful to Chuck for sharing his devotionals with us. They are not just relevant but powerful as we frame and re-frame our work as entrepreneurs. The prayer at the end of each piece is a beautiful synthesis of thanks and requests to God. We hope it’s as encouraging to you as it’s been to us!
— by Chuck Alley
COLOSSIANS 3:22 – 4:1 WORKING FOR JESUS
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
4:1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
All people who live in the cult of the self are slaves. There are those who are enslaved by others, and there are those who enslave themselves to others. Both groups suffer from a lack of meaning in their lives. The involuntarily enslaved exist in a seemingly endless status of children without the promise of ever becoming autonomous adults, while the voluntarily enslaved bind themselves to something or someone through which they think they will find meaning for their lives. In both cases their lives are not their own, and depression and despair dog their every step in order to consume them every time they falter. Shakespeare’s Macbeth in his famous soliloquy speaks about life in this manner:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)
A shadow devoid of substance and a player who appears to be someone he is not is a proper description of a life without meaning. For Macbeth the entire tragedy of his life was brought on by his slavery to selfish ambition.
The freedom offered us in Christ is the liberty from meaninglessness, regardless of its origin in our lives. If we know who our real and eternal Master is and allow his Spirit to infiltrate and inspire our lives, then no matter our social and emotional circumstances, we can be assured that our life is not confined to our hour on this earthly stage. The message we have been given to live in our lives is one that will be heard forever. We are not actors but real players in the drama written by God and signifying the Truth behind everything.
Every task we face each day should be brought into the context of our relationship with Jesus (23-24). One way of doing that is to ask the question, “Why am I doing _____?” And then answering, “I am doing ______ for the Lord!” In this way even the most menial tasks, whether forced or voluntary, are given eternal meaning and become a witness of the self-giving love of God.
Blessed Lord Jesus, as you came into the world, not to be served but to serve, help me to align my life with your will and seek only to indenture myself to you. Help me to see every task as a glorious opportunity to rest in the knowledge of your love and to be a proper witness to your love. Amen.